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Barkeaters join Paul Smiths rugby tourney

PAUL SMITHS - On Saturday, March 28, the Adirondack Barkeaters U19 Rugby Football Club, participated in the second annual Paul Smith's College "Balls Deep in Snow" Rugby Tournament. Last year, the Barkeaters attended as an exhibition club against the Paul Smith's B-team. This year they were awarded full participation.

Their first match was against Clarkson University, and though intimidated by the size and age of their opponents, the Barkeaters were up to the test as the game was scoreless for most of the match. Late in the second half, Clarkson pushed over a try from a rolling maul near right touch. That decided the match for Clarkson, 5-0. Lock Quentin Gillilland, Willsboro, shined in the pack for the Barkeaters.

The next test was against host Paul Smith's. A more open style of play was adopted and PSC pulled out to a 12-0 lead at the half. The second half found Fullback Forrest Morgan, Saranac Lake, booting a penalty goal from 22 meters out to cut the lead 12-3. PSC roared back to push a clinching try over the line for a 17-3 lead.

However, the Barkeaters did not relent. The young ruggers fought back with loose ruck after loose ruck until Loosehead Prop Ryan Stacey, Peru, bulled his way through the opposition from 2 meters out to close the gap to 17-8 before the final whistle.

The final test in the preliminary round found the Barkeaters facing Siena College. Another open, and even feistier match was had as the two teams literally fought to a 0-0 tie at the end of regulation. Rookie Flanker Dillon Fogelsanger, Willsboro, gave a gutsy performance to frustrate Siena.

In sudden death overtime, Siena struck 2 minutes into the period to clinch first place in the tourney 5-0.

The Barkeaters played PSC in the consolation match and stayed even with the Bobcats into halftime at 5-5 on a late try scored in a rolling maul to the right of the posts. Tighthead Prop Kaleb Provost, Willsboro, pushed through the melee for the score.

In the second half, all rookie Barkeaters piled in for their first live rugby experiences, had a great time, but ended up being trounced 24-5.

The Barkeaters begin their regular season in the Vermont Youth Rugby Association Saturday, April 11th, in Willsboro against the Mad River RFC. Barkeaters Rugby is open to area teenage boys and girls. Call 963-8555 to join.

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